The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010. The Equality Act brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. Combined, they make up an Act that provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.
The Equality Acts 2010 Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is set out in section 149 of the Act. In summary, those subject to the general equality duty must have due regard (consideration) to the three aims of the general equality duty:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- Advance equality of opportunity between different groups.
- Foster good relations between different groups.
Due regard requires the CCG to give consideration to the nine protected characteristics when carrying out day to day functions and activities as defined in law through the Brown Principles.
Having 'due regard' to the PSED simply involves considering the aims of the Duty in a way that is proportionate to the issue at hand.
The Equality Act 2010 includes Specific Duties Regulations 2011 which require the CCG to publish annually on how it is meeting the PSED and, every 4 years, produce Equality Objectives.
The Equality Act (2010) focuses on nine protected groups or characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Within the CCG we consider a wider range of characteristics and other vulnerable groups, such as carers and health inequalities associated with social deprivation.
Meeting Statutory Human Right Requirements
The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out a range of rights which have implications for the way the CCG buys services and manages their workforce. In practice this means that we must:
- Act compatibly with the rights contained in the Human Rights Act in everything we do.
- Recognise that anyone who is a ‘victim’ under the Human Rights Act can bring a claim against the CCG (in a UK court, tribunal, hearing or complaints procedure).
- Wherever possible, existing laws that the CCG as a public body deals with, must be interpreted and applied in a way that fits with the rights in the Human Rights Act 1998.
Other key legislative and mandatory requirements: